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Edward H. Ayres (born October 1941) is an American writer, editor, environmentalist and ultramarathon runner. He is the founding editor and publisher of Running Times magazine and former editor of Worldwatch, a bimonthly global-trends magazine.
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- To produce 1 lb. of feedlot beef requires 7 lbs. of feed grain, which takes 7,000 lbs. of water to grow. Pass up one hamburger, and you'll save as much water as you save by taking 40 showers with a low-flow nozzle. Yet in the U.S., 70% of all the wheat, corn and other grain produced goes to feeding herds of livestock. Around the world, as more water is diverted to raising pigs and chickens instead of producing crops for direct consumption, millions of wells are going dry. … In the U.S., livestock now produce 130 times as much waste as people do. Just one hog farm in Utah, for example, produces more sewage than the city of Los Angeles. These megafarms are proliferating, and in populous areas their waste is tainting drinking water. In more pristine regions, from Indonesia to the Amazon, tropical rain forest is being burned down to make room for more and more cattle. … We, at least, have the flexibility—the omnivorous stomach and creative brain—to adapt. We can do it by moving down the food chain: eating foods that use less water and land, and that pollute far less, than cows and pigs do. In the long run, we can lose our memory of eating animals, and we will discover the intrinsic satisfactions of a diverse plant-based diet, as millions of people already have.